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Waiting For Spring

March 9, 2019

It’s March not January. This morning, after almost a month of snow on the ground, it started snowing again WTF!

Brr -1C last night

Okay, look closely. After the snow stopped the sun came out, the temperature rose and it all started to melt. I felt like a puppet on a string. Whoever was pulling those strings was cruel…this is not supposed to happen on the ‘left’ coast of Canada.

Yes, in the background the white is snow on the branches of the evergreen

The warmest place in Canada today was Herbert Island just off the northeast tip of Vancouver Island. This is about 200km north of where we are located on central Vancouver Island.

Canadians love to talk about the weather – it’s either too cold or it’s too warm. For me, I have enjoyed our northern sojourn this winter. I have the luxury of staying inside and looking at the weather through large picture windows onto a beautiful landscape. No matter what the weather I always get enjoyment but then I don’t have go to work or go out if it pleases me.

The only evidence that spring is on the way are the snowdrops coming up in the garden. Even though they had to push through the snow this morning by the afternoon the snow had melted and we are left with the first signs of warmer weather to come.

In preparation for the warmer weather the chairs are out in the shade under the trees and all we have to do is wait for the snow to disappear…and

the hot tub to be filled….hope everyone gets to enjoy spring soon

It’s quickly disappearing

February 13, 2019


It’s all over too darn quickly. One minute we’re sitting in a restaurant in Richmond having driven there in the almost sunshine and the next we’re leaving the restaurant in blizzard like conditions.

We sail across the Straits of Georgia while seeing nothing of either the mainland or Vancouver Island. We arrive on the island, dig out the car and creep our way back home.

The next minute the snow slithers off the roof or slowly disappears one drip at a time. There’s little time to contemplate the beauty of the scene and take in this momentary interruption to our normal routines. Occasionally the sun pokes out of the bruised clouds and the light is incredible.

Important to enjoy for the little time it’s here.

Moosemeat and Marmalade

January 15, 2019

Okay what’s with the title and what does this have to do with a sailing travelling blog. Well, further down the blog line this will become evident.

To start, we were heading out for an early morning walk along the Chemainus River. The day was foggy and cold (1C) but promises of sun coming later in the morning.

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So where’s the promise of sun? Things are looking a little bleak

The Chemainus River is south of Chemainus which is located on Vancouver Island. We are house sitting not far from the river and have 2 dogs, a standard poodle and a portuguese water dog, to take care for 3 months.

We need to take the dogs for walks and this is one place we haven’t explored yet. So off we go….

With Fred, a fellow blogger and dog owner, walking the dogs along the estuary

With dimming hopes of sunshine Fred tells us of the beautiful views to be had on a clear day, the number of ducks to be seen and wonderful swimming holes for summer fun.

The ground continues to show signs of cool night-time temperatures and no sun to burn off the frost
Fall detritus covers the ground with the dying organic materials that should in following years provide great ground for mushroom picking
Not able to see very far we took pleasure in peering into the fog to imagine the incredible  array of wildlife this sanctuary would provide
A lonely woman and her dog!

And then as we were walking back to the car we looked behind us and out of the mist we saw what we thought were three hikers

Thinking how cold and miserable these campers must be we felt sorry for them and thought offering to take them for coffee might warm their bones

But then as they came up to us we realized they weren’t campers

It was Dan Hayes of Moosemeat and Marmalade fame

Dan Hayes is a trained British Chef who, working with Art Napoleon, produce a show called Moosemeat and Marmalade for APTN. Dan and his film crew had been out very early in the morning hunting for duck and were looking forward to heading back for a morning of lunch preparation.

Coddiwompling*

December 20, 2018
A quick bus trip to Ontario from Norfolk VA saw us braving one of the earliest winter storms in years and temperatures that plummeted to -20C. The Ontario sojourn confirmed our feelings that one has to be insane putting up with those temperature variations and snow storms. With temperatures fluctuating wildly; one minute the weather is forcing me into a snowsuit and the next day making me put on my rain-gear and slush boots of which I don’t have any. Despite it all I loved every minute of the weather in Ontario. It was such a change for us. After spending the better part of 9 years in the tropics the sun and humidity is pushing the body into a slow rot! Nothing to say about what aging does! The old harsh winter-like weather was like a spa to us. Although we know we couldn’t live in it permanently we had fun in the temporary break from constant sunshine and humidity.

It was -20C when we headed to the National Art Gallery and the twin bell towers were sparkling in the sunshine and made for an amazing contrast with the blue sky

After 4 weeks we’d had it with the cold and beat a hasty retreat south to Mexico via Washington DC. The mad shopping spree of ‘Black Friday’ was over but then it was time to get ready for Christmas. Washington DC was milder than Ontario but politically as hot as ever. Twitter diarrhoea was flowing down the steps of the White House, the courts were full of people going to trial for all sorts of shenanigans and the legislative bodies locked into a time warp turning the clock back on health care, the environment and anything else the corporate-military conglomerate wants. In other words a CEO’s wet dream! We spent our time in Washington DC catching up with our friends Amy and Arthur and heading to the Saturday market. Christmas is creeping up  and the theme of that weeks market was the crafty holiday season but there was so much great food to see on the tables.
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Serving the most glorious pogaca (Turkish cheese filled bread)

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And a selection of mushrooms to die for…

We had only a few nights in DC (Falls Church) before hopping on the plane to catch up with our favourite weather patterns – i.e. 22-28C, sunshine and water, not frozen other than that in our drinks.
flying in (2)

Flying into Puerto Vallarta from the east. So happy to see the mountains after the flat landscape of the east coast of America – felt like we were flying home to the Pacific

We were truly back to familiar territory. We’ve sailed here in the past, we’ve vacationed many times in Mexico and we love the pace of life in the area. Yes, we’re in a touristy area but it’s not a gringo area but rather a Mexican resort town (Rincon de Guayabitos) that is now only just starting to get busy. The Mexican kids are out of school on Tuesday and by the time we fly out on Christmas Day the beach will be total insanity! So, before it gets too insane we went to Chacala for a day at a quiet beach and the following day off to the Hot Springs not far north of us. *Coddiwompling (learned from a friend Fred Bailey)- travelling in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination

Season’s Greetings

December 15, 2018

This year you can choose. It’s either the warm fire inside the kitchen with the blowing snow storm outside

KarenandDougsfire

OR

The sounds of the gently rolling surf surging up the beach with sunny blue skies, a bottle of tequila and a few tacos.

 

 

 

Which would you choose;

Times running out. Make your choice now.

 

Clock made of wood by Nick Hally of Maple Hollow Studios

I Feel Your Pain

November 23, 2018

-20C, snow up to 15cm, grey skies, icy roads – how does one survive this?

A Bite of the Apple – and a bit more

November 12, 2018
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I know it’s been a while since I’ve turned my thoughts to updating this blog. A lot of water has gone under the bridge both literally and figuratively.

In summer we never made if further north on the east coast of the US than Long Island Sound; specifically, Port Washington which became our summer home for the months of part of July, August and the beginning of September. We spent most of our time tied to a mooring ball in Port Washington. Port Washington is one of the most yacht friendly harbours in the whole of Long Island Sound. It’s protected, it’s safe, has easy access to shops and it is one of the terminuses of the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). The LIRR provides a 40 minute ride into Penn Station in the heart of New York.

We didn’t stay on the boat long as we had secured a 10 day house sit in Hudson Heights through Trusted Housesitters . Along with the house sit came two cats to tend to but apart from feeding and talking to them we were free to explore New York. It’s hard to comprehend the variety of things to do in New York as the summertime provides an incredible array of special events both free and paid

A few of the highlights of New York included seeing Vieux Farke Toure on the Blues BBQ (free),

seeing the Klimt painting of the Woman in Gold, spending the day in the Metropolitan Museum which had an amazing display on the arts of Oceania (as well as so much more), a night spent at Barbes listening to great music and scoring some tickets for the Lion King (for which we also got a personal tour of the backstage after the performance through an Annapolis connection). We could have easily spent another week in New York just wandering the streets

These were just a few of the highlights. There is so much more to see in New York and yet we only scratched the surface. I would love to go back but only after I find a little more gold on a beach.

Here are a few photo highlights you might enjoy. As I stated at the beginning we’re heading south to avoid the oncoming winter onslaught. The thought of winter makes my toes tingle but that’s not from excitement but rather from the thought of frostbite

Now it’s November, Sage is safely tucked away on dry land in Norfolk and we are temporarily in Ontario staving off the onslaught of winter which I am sure will hit us before we leave for points south in early December.

So, instead of long stories I’m posting a few photos and trying for a little sequence of our movements over the summer.

More on New York

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Central Park looking east

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Pacific section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art – spectacular exhibition of Oceania art

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Couldn’t resist a picture of the Chelsea Hotel – once the home of people like Patti Smith, Mapplethorpe etc and made famous in song by Leonard Cohen

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9/11 – a beautiful memorial to those taken down in the twin towers. Very moving

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From here it was dancing the latin beat on the street in the afternoon. Always things to do in NY

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Yes these carts are everywhere around the city but only tried once and never again!

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One of the access points to the Highline – a converted railway track to a walking path through Chelsea

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Always adding space to an already dense space

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And always murals

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Our last night spent in NY before heading south

Our only fall schedule was to be in Annapolis first forthe Ocean Cruising Club’s fall dinner followed by the Annapolis Boat show on the first weekend of October.

The picture below is of a style of boat which is making it’s debut on the retail market after creating a sensation in the last America’s Cup and on the international racing circuits in the last year. Foils seem to be the latest innovation in sailing and it will be interesting to see what mark they are going to make.

Below is a photo grid showing just a few of the people we got to meet over the summer. We had a great time and wish I only had more pictures of the many people we met but the camera hasn’t been pulled out that often!